PixelJunk Monsters 2 |OT| Anywhere Anytime Monsters

Seik

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,800
Québec City
I tried the demo yesterday on Switch, I had no idea what to do at first lol. I then read carefully about all you can do and yeah, it was pretty fun.

The zoomed in camera is cool and looks great, however it's way too zoomed in and the performance takes a hit, I didn't try co-op. All in all, I thought the game was pretty cool and ordered the Switch version on LRG. Since it's only printed once all DLC will be released hopefully the game will get a little boost in performance through patches that will be on-cart in the LRG release.
 

James Bollom

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1
The game has issues but the main concern is how this barely feels like a sequel. I own three different versions of the original and I have more desire to play these than PJM2.
 

spineduke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,214
Soooo, was this game outsourced to Spike Chunsoft? It's very strange to witness a sequel from a renowned dev take several steps back in terms of design.
 

UltimusXI

Member
Oct 27, 2017
229
I've only played the first level now so far, on both initial difficulties. Great that PJM is back, but my first impressions are:
  • I feel that for a first level, this one is already quite complex. One thing I always did in PJM was try to collect all coins / gems from the trees, but it feels now that there are just too many trees and they're spread out way more (there's even trees all the way to the right of the nest? Perhaps needed for the final difficulty?).
  • What's also annoying and what I don't remember from PJM is that there are visible trees that you can't go to. There is an invisible wall that does not feel natural. Must be because of the new camera view or so, but I sure hope that either the new camera fixes this or some other solution for the invisible wall. Minor thing perhaps, but still a bit annoying.
  • I noticed some translation errors in the in-game manual: titles for manual chapters are wrong (selling, upgrading towers iirc) and at least one real translation error (missing word, don't remember what it was exactly).
  • Not fond of the jumping.
Other than that I've not yet had many trouble with the camera, but it was just one level. Happy that the series is back at least. A bit more polish could make this game great.
 
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Kinan

Member
Oct 26, 2017
173
Question: can you do combined local/online coop?

Do not think so, when you try to go online, it asks if you are sure to leave local multiplayer.

P.S. Finally unlocked fire, it is as fun as I remember, created a hell oven with 4 synced fire towers on a spider level and just watched them burnnn. :) Good to have you back, PJM.
 

ronaldthump

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Banned
Oct 27, 2017
2,439
gawd. the game is really quite tough when you're trying to perfect the level with no way to speed up the level (is there?). Hate it when 1x monster slips through and I have to restart. I now have 9 rainbows and opened up the last region (outside of the DLC levels - which I've bought as I bought the DLC set for this). I can't imagine that it'd be possible to save all 20 when you're playing the level outside of fun.

I've also unlocked fire just then.

Really needs to be able to let you speed up time!!!!
 

Jon Carter

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,417
How is the full game compared with the demo? Originally I only tried it because I wanted to see the visuals, but it was a lot of fun. Is the full game too hard compared with the demo? I have no experience with the genre, but both difficulty levels in the demo were fine for me.
 

RobertM

Member
Oct 31, 2017
306
I am not happy with amount of visibility you get in the level, it's kind of jarring. Two player is annoying because there are no real good visual ques in terms of color, it's especially annoying when building because sometimes you get confused who's building.
 

Drencrom

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,537
SWE
Dylan Cuthbert (Q-Games dev) had an AMA on Reddit a couple of hours ago and said a few things regarding post-launch support for PJM2

https://www.reddit.com/r/nintendo/comments/8mu1pp/im_dylan_cuthbert_and_i_worked_on_four_versions/
  • Couch Co-op camera/teleport is being worked on in an update (he acknowledged that it "slipped through the cracks" during development). Dylan has talked quite a bit about this "big update" lately.
  • "Photo mode is in the list of things we are considering!"
  • More DLC packs besides Encore/Danganronpa "If everyone seems to be enjoying themselves and it is worthwhile then we will consider it for sure."
  • [Not related to PJM2] but PixelJunk Monsters Duo (PJM mobile game) is still coming
 
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Qwark

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,053
If it was accurate I would agree. But as I said in my example, I’ve experienced glitches where I’ve put towers on hills with nothing else around, only to have little range in one direction.
Yeah, this is my biggest gripe so far. I thought elevation would add a lot of strategy to it, but putting a tower on a hill just cripples its range. Is this a glitch? Because it seems very consistent... but it doesn't make any sense to me at all.

I love the game in spite of the issues, but I'm a little let down after the first one.

It’s by design. Not some rushed oversight that needs to be patched. I understand not liking it but it is exactly a problem for the player to solve. It’s supposed to be a game of strategy—is that not what we paid for?
I disagree, I don't think RNG lends itself to good strategy. I think coins being unavailable because of chance is bad design. The laser towers send coins flying. I'm fine with having to collect coins, but a bunch of coins falling in a lake (and then glitching out) or down a hill is crap.

Also, it seems a lot harder to actually notice coins in this one. They blend in so well, and it seems like the off-screen indicator works if you're in the somewhat close vicinity.
 
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nemoral

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,071
Fiddler's Green
As someone who has bought PJM on multiple platforms and still plays it regularly, I have to say I'm disappointed. It feels clunky, hard to get around, elevated turrets lose range instead of gaining it, the weird thing with clumps of trees that aren't really available for building is lame, and the inability to back up enough to see the whole level changes the nature of the gameplay. I just think 3D was the wrong way to go and isn't going to really scratch my itch, which was for more maps, more towers, more monsters, but with the high quality PJM gameplay I'm used to. Kinda sad, really.
 

Kinan

Member
Oct 26, 2017
173
Someone, please ask Dylan if 4-players local coop is coming. Was so hyped for it from the trailer, but it is apparently online only. Would be crazy mayhem with kids. :)
 

pixelpatron

Member
Oct 28, 2017
839
Seattle
As someone who has bought PJM on multiple platforms and still plays it regularly, I have to say I'm disappointed. It feels clunky, hard to get around, elevated turrets lose range instead of gaining it, the weird thing with clumps of trees that aren't really available for building is lame, and the inability to back up enough to see the whole level changes the nature of the gameplay. I just think 3D was the wrong way to go and isn't going to really scratch my itch, which was for more maps, more towers, more monsters, but with the high quality PJM gameplay I'm used to. Kinda sad, really.

Yep the move to 3D assets/gameworld killed this game. Not that 3D is the enemy, but they made some bad calls on key gameplay pillars and the game suffers greatly because of it. I thought all they needed to do was add camera zoom to fix it, but more time spent with the demo; I’ve come to the realization that the game just isn’t as good as it’s predicessor.such a shame being a HUGE fan of the first. They should scrap support for this and regroup and re-release, fixing glaring issues described above and more aligning to the gameplay of the first game.
 

SecondNature

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,017
Yep the move to 3D assets/gameworld killed this game. Not that 3D is the enemy, but they made some bad calls on key gameplay pillars and the game suffers greatly because of it. I thought all they needed to do was add camera zoom to fix it, but more time spent with the demo; I’ve come to the realization that the game just isn’t as good as it’s predicessor.such a shame being a HUGE fan of the first. They should scrap support for this and regroup and re-release, fixing glaring issues described above and more aligning to the gameplay of the first game.
I don't even understand how it came to this. Whose bright idea was it to add a pointless 3D, behind the camera mode? Like, who wants that? Utterly useless.

A zoomed in camera, an absolute mess of UI readability... how do you not stick to the core tenants of the first game

Hearing that the core game has issues outside of this has turned it from a "wait for patches" to a likely pass. Presumably the game is now designed around the zoomed in camera, so I dont expect the game to flow as well even if they did pull it out all the way (which I doubt they will do anyway).

Curious to see what this big patch ends up doing, but Im hoping for more impressions on the flow of the game, because it often sounds like its very chaotic and focused around moment to moment on screen action as opposed to feeling like you are planning a big tactical battle across the whole stage
 

Drencrom

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,537
SWE
Yep the move to 3D assets/gameworld killed this game. Not that 3D is the enemy, but they made some bad calls on key gameplay pillars and the game suffers greatly because of it. I thought all they needed to do was add camera zoom to fix it, but more time spent with the demo; I’ve come to the realization that the game just isn’t as good as it’s predicessor.such a shame being a HUGE fan of the first. They should scrap support for this and regroup and re-release, fixing glaring issues described above and more aligning to the gameplay of the first game.
That's an absolutely awful idea and a overly harsh assessment on the game imo. They're already working on fixing things like the co-op camera and other stuff, no need to "scrap support" and re-release anything (which would be horrible PR as it just came out and a lot of people like myself enjoy the game).

I was on mobile and just wanted to quickly inform people in this thread that the DLC is up, but I added the link to my original post.
 

8byte

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,639
Kansas
I have a sneaking suspicion that the camera is where it is because of performance issues (rather, to prevent performance issues).
 

Drencrom

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,537
SWE
I don't even understand how it came to this. Whose bright idea was it to add a pointless 3D, behind the camera mode? Like, who wants that? Utterly useless.

A zoomed in camera, an absolute mess of UI readability... how do you not stick to the core tenants of the first game

Hearing that the core game has issues outside of this has turned it from a "wait for patches" to a likely pass. Presumably the game is now designed around the zoomed in camera, so I dont expect the game to flow as well even if they did pull it out all the way (which I doubt they will do anyway).

Curious to see what this big patch ends up doing, but Im hoping for more impressions on the flow of the game, because it often sounds like its very chaotic and focused around moment to moment on screen action as opposed to feeling like you are planning a big tactical battle across the whole stage
Not sure what you mean when you say the UI is "an absolute mess", I've played the full game for a good 10 plus hours (SP and co-op) I don't have a problem with the UI at all. Your wave progress, your tower levels and all your resources can be seen clearly at all times. The only thing that I personally think is missing is a button to see the level up bar of all towers at once (which is something they're working on). It just saddens me that people seem really gung-ho to make hyperbolic statements based on the Demo, I totally get that not all of us PJM fans will agree or like the change to 3D etc but still. Q-Games are a small dev team and they've been forthcoming about what should be added and fixed. Don't take this post as me invalidating your (and others) criticism, because some of it is definitely valid and Q-Games knows about it.

Yeah, this is my biggest gripe so far. I thought elevation would add a lot of strategy to it, but putting a tower on a hill just cripples its range. Is this a glitch? Because it seems very consistent... but it doesn't make any sense to me at all
This is actually not true, the range of towers isn't decreased when they're elevated. It's just that the yellow circle that indicates the range gets bugged and displays it wrong which definitely makes it confusing.
 
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Akash

Member
Oct 27, 2017
66
It's crazy how quickly I went from must buy to what the hell were they thinking....

If they patch all the problems, and it's on sale, then maybe...
 

SecondNature

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,017
Not sure what you mean when you say the UI is "am absolute mess", I've played the full game for a good 10 plus hours (SP and co-op) I don't have a problem with the UI at all. Your wave progress, your tower levels and all your resources can be seen clearly at all times. The only thing that I personally think is missing is a button to see the level up bar of all towers at once (which is something they're working on). It just saddens me that people seem really gung-ho to make hyperbolic statements based on the Demo, I totally get that not all of us PJM fans will agree or like the change to 3D etc but still. Q-Games are a small dev team and they've been forthcoming about what should be added and fixed. Don't take this post as me invalidating your (and others) criticism, because some of it is definitely valid and Q-Games knows about it.



This is actually not true, the range of towers isn't decreased when they're elevated. It's just that the yellow circle that indicates the range gets gets bugged and displays it wrong which definitely makes it confusing.
The Tower progress bars is all I mean by the UI. The zoomed cam adds to the difficulty in keeping track of all your towers, but the lack of a progress bar to check all your towers and the inability to see the flag status just feels like its going to be frustrating. I only played the demo though, so maybe I have it wrong
 

HotHamBoy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,505
They should scrap support for this and regroup and re-release, fixing glaring issues described above and more aligning to the gameplay of the first game.
What?

No, just move on to a new project. Bad games happen, dwelling on them trying to hammer them into something good is a waste of time and resources.
 

Qwark

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,053
This is actually not true, the range of towers isn't decreased when they're elevated. It's just that the yellow circle that indicates the range gets bugged and displays it wrong which definitely makes it confusing.
Oh, thank goodness. I thought it was a problem with the game logic. If it's just a graphical glitch I can play through it until they fix it.
 

UltimusXI

Member
Oct 27, 2017
229
Maybe already posted, but I just noticed another issue with the PS4 version: the game doesn't pause when pressing the PS button, even in single player.

Edit: F*ck, lost another game because of this... May wait for a patch, hope this is in it as well.
 
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Brat-Sampson

Member
Nov 16, 2017
382
I grabbed this blind from the eShop after enjoying the first one and figuring solid Tower Defense on the Switch seemed like a no-brainer. Sad to hear about all these camera-related isues but it sounds like a patch allowing for a zoomed-out camera and maybe better signposting of waves/tower power levels would help a ton. Hopefully they consider it and in the meantime, hey, I still doubt it's a *bad* game...
 

spineduke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,214
What?

No, just move on to a new project. Bad games happen, dwelling on them trying to hammer them into something good is a waste of time and resources.
This is easily redeemable though - the core gameplay is fine, its just some design decisions that need to be revisited. The game is flawed, but not bad.
 

Qwark

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,053
Laser towers didn't work on non-flying bosses in the first game, did they? That's a nice change.

I think I just unlocked the last area, a little underwhelmed with the number of levels, but I still need to go back through and get rainbows/play Tricky.
 

8byte

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,639
Kansas
Played through some more last night, and there are only a few problems I have, but nothing that's preventing me from enjoying it.

One thing I'd really like would be unlocking the camera completely. If they could pull back the FOV a tad and let us move the camera as far away from the Tiki man as we want, that would be a great compromise to still maintain performance. Just click in the right stick to "re-center" on the player. Not sure if Q-Games reads this, but I think this would be an exceptionally easy solution to the current problem (and maybe give us some options to control camera speed).

The other one is just seeing tower levels / progress for all towers with a button press.

Other than that, I genuinely don't have a problem with the game. Having uneven terrain and a jump button is great, love all the art, and the music is just as soothing as ever. Can't wait to invest tens of hours into it to get that platinum trophy.
 
Oct 27, 2017
266
The Ether
It's a step back from PJM in most ways but it's still one of the better tower defense games ever made. I'm really enjoying it now. I finished it on fun and am about half way through getting all the rainbows on tricky.
 

Drencrom

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,537
SWE

Ask and ye shall receive! Can’t wait.
Nice, knew I could count on Q-Games to improve/fix the camera. Hopefully this update is out before the first DLC expansion.

EDIT: Dylan confirmed that you will be able to switch between these new camera modes in-game like with the Top-view and Behind-view.
 
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Qwark

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,053
Do aerial towers work on balloon monsters? They shoot them, but it doesn't seem like it pops the balloon and I can't tell if it's causing damage.
 

ghostcrew

Spooking
Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
9,252
United Kingdom
I’m having a blast with this game, same as I did the first game. Can’t believe that came out a whole decade ago, wow.... Tried the demo on both PS4 and Switch and went with PS4 in the end. Would’ve liked it portable but it just looked and played better on the PS4. And I’m a sucker for a trophy list ;)
 

SecondNature

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,017
Excited to see the new camera mode, and I hope its actually good and not ham fisted. I worry its not designed for zoomed out mode

Besides that, a clearer reading of towers + a button to see all tower progress seems like the next thing to hope for

Are there any other outstanding issues with the game? I hear criticism on the physics/bugs and that the maps are too large, requiring you to run around a lot more dead space. Is any of that true?

I think Ill buy this game knowing the camera fix is coming, but Im still weary. But there is no other Monsters game on ps4 so Ill have to get over the issues and enjoy what it offers
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,972
I'm glad I took a chance on this game despite some trepidation after the demo, although the player base on the Switch looks pretty small so far; I've been reliably getting top-20 scores on the leaderboards without much trouble, sometimes on my first try, and I didn't come in with any experience with PJM1. But I'm pushing myself to clear Tricky with no leaks on every stage before moving on to the next, which has also given me the flexibility to pursue the worlds out of their primary order, so while I've only seen about half the game so far I've also taken the time to wrap my head around what it does differently.

While I didn't play PJM1, I can see where the complaints about co-op are coming from if you're used to unrestricted movement on a static/omniscient map. Confined warping systems and map-wide division of labour don't mix, and in any case I'm glad more camera options are coming (though my complaints aren't at all about the overhead camera; it's the behind-the-back platformer camera that is too close and too low to be remotely useful). Nevertheless, I think some of the complaints about PJM2 sound like disappointment that the sequel didn't play it safely and do more of the same, rather than thinking through the design space opened up by what the new game does differently and what it contributes to the TD genre.

*

My perspective here is as someone who played TDs very seriously in their prime back in Warcraft III and who still considers most of the designs from the WC3 modding scene unmatched by anything that has come along since in Flash, mobile, or PC. As such, I don't consider it gospel that TDs should have a full overhead view or that it's strictly a hindrance, particularly in a peon-based builder, to have a limited field of vision (though WC3's TDs let you click around the minimap to navigate around your limited field of view, of course, and didn't lock the camera to within a certain radius of your builder). Nor do I think it's a problem, rather than a design choice, for your ability to react to new waves or reconfigure your layout to be restricted by where you've positioned your builder on the map and which area you're working on.

With any commercially sold TDs the question for me is usually whether they add anything to the design space of the genre that I haven't already seen better executed in WC3/TFT or StarCraft II, and the answer is usually no. So I'm pleased to report that PJM2's platformer-like 3D terrain with full physics simulation makes a substantial contribution to the genre beyond what the Blizzard RTS engines or later touch-based games for Flash/mobile could handle, indeed such an important contribution that Dylan Cuthbert and the crew at Q-Games are seriously underselling it as a cosmetic or graphical thing, and I wonder whether they fully understand the implications themselves. Certainly some of the systems feel a bit unpolished and undercooked, and by traditional metrics this is a rather slim experience (not much build diversity and no real tech choices in the upgrade paths, compared to a series that excels at that sort of thing like Kingdom Rush), but the combination of the terrain, elevation, and physics has huge ramifications that scream to be further explored, and which you can already explore right now as you chase high scores and tidy up your play.

Ask yourself: how does one get better at this game? What's (in Sid Meier's terms) the "interesting decision"? Most TDs are about reading types, weaknesses, damage numbers, and so on, and budgeting around the balance of coverage versus power (building wide versus building tall), often while building minimally or inviting risk to save money or accumulate interest. There is some of that here, of course. But more than anything else, PJM2 is a game about knowing where to stand. And every major design consideration works in service of that: the speed and pacing, the penalties for collisions or falling in water, the lack of auto-loot, everything. Do you dance around a tower to upgrade it, or do you stand downslope to catch coins and currency before they roll down the hill and off a cliff? Do you build safely to shoot down aerial waves over water, or do you let them fly overland so you can loot the spoils? If you build in the back line to broaden your coverage and catch leaks, do you have a quick and consistent platforming shortcut to move back and forth and loot both ends of your setup? Do you run into the mix and loot some urgent cash while monsters are still on the path and there is a risk of getting bumped, or do you work on something else until they clear out? Do you build inwards at a high elevation or right along the path? So many of these are questions I haven't asked myself in a TD before, at least not to the same extent, and they all make PJM2 look not like the second game of an established series but the first, experimental, somewhat uneven debut of something totally new. It's underdeveloped but undeniably fresh, and we should pay it the courtesy of judging it by its own standards.

*

There are admittedly interface issues. The scoring system is opaque and nothing in the game has numbers attached to it despite a clear background of calculations involving damage numbers and armour/mitigation. On Tricky you sometimes need to sit through a trial run just to see when certain alternate paths kick in; this isn't a game that's always fair about letting you anticipate threats on the first try. I can't seem to throw or activate bomb fruits with any accuracy at all. I'm mainly playing on the Switch's portable screen so the problem isn't the height of the camera or the scale of the overhead view, but the visibility of gems and coins. It seems the idea was to use the secondary platformer camera to assist with looting, with the indicators pointing you imprecisely in the general direction of uncollected items, but the angle on it is no good for that and it just gets in the way. I'd probably score higher if I made better use (or any use) of the platformer view, so I could throw fruit accurately and not miss so many coins on the ground, but I'm not going to fight with the weirdness of the camera swap just to move up a few spots on the ladder.

Oddly enough, I think this would have made an excellent concept for a Wii U game—build on the main screen, run around with a character camera on the GamePad screen. (And I'm not just saying that because of Q-Games' association with Star Fox; I really think the two-camera setup would have worked better that way.)

I'm looking forward to the patch, anyway. I'm glad the game is being actively maintained, and I find the core design very promising, although I doubt I'll jump on the DLC if one additional three-map world per pack (over two packs) is all that is on offer.
 
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Zukuu

Member
Oct 30, 2017
3,844
Ok, I refunded the game. Holy shit is it crap. There is nothing remotely redeeming about it. It lacks basic features. It alters the path of air unites on a whim without even telling you about them. What good is "planning" if it's out of the window a few waves in. Not a fan of "have to play every level at least twice". Controls also feel very delayed for some reason. The pace at which you unlock new towers is flabbergasting. It even looks like a low effort pallet swap from the unity store. No enemy variety, towers don't change their look and literally the first two things you see in the world when you first start up the game are 2 doors that lead to the DLC-steam page. Wtf were they thinking? This is a soulless moneygrab if I have ever seen one.
 

Kinan

Member
Oct 26, 2017
173
Well, above 2 posts are excellent examples of a PJM newcomer who got it and a newcomer who don‘t.

We rainbowed fun and tricky for all levels with wife and having a blast. Some lvls gonna be brutal on mayhem. They better add coop leaderboard before we done with those.

Lightning tower is as op as it was in pjm, and now you can build more than 1! Level-wide all-types damage that also pops baloons? Give 3! :)